Low Over High by J.A. DeRouen

LOW OVER HIGH

“Love changes over time. The edges may dull, the butterflies hibernate… but sometimes, the best things sharpen and flourish as years pass.”

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One of the best things about Goodreads is that I have discovered a lot of new authors and new books which made me wonder what kind of rock I’ve been hiding under to have not heard of them before.

Low over High started a bit slow for my taste and I was prepared for the overly used high school drama. But I was in for a good surprise. Marlo or Low is a delight to read about. She’s not a damsel in distress given her unconventional childhood. She doesn’t play the martyr but she’s a believer and an all around strong go getter.

And then she meets Ever. Troubled, angsty broody Ever. It was ire at first sight and the antagonism between the two is palpable. I love how they transitioned from disliking each other to being acquaintances, to being friends and to finding love and peace in each other.

But everything was temporary. Ever’s troubles were bigger than him and what they have. In the process, Marlo had to pay the price. I love how age appropriate their reactions and actions were. Though, I do not agree to a lot of what they did, I feel like given the messy and troubled mind of the youth, their actions can be deemed acceptable.

Also, I felt unsatisfied with a lot of things in this story. I kind of wanted to know more about Charlotte, Delilah and Jeb. I wanted to see more of Low’s dynamics with her mother. I felt like some very important parts of the story were just laid out in passing to focus more on the romance aspect.

The ending was realistic but it was a bit unfulfilling for me. I wanted more! It was not the ending I would like and I hope that the next book will give me (and these two) the conclusion that they deserve.

3.5 STARS

Stars - 4


Review Headings -  Blurb

I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do.

While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile.

But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch.

I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years.
And still we meet again.

But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past.

Or who…

My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.

 

The Gravity of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry

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“The woman who felt everything leaned in closer to the man who felt nothing at all. For a split second in time, I felt a little of her pain while she encountered my coldness, and neither one of us seemed to mind.” 

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Wow.

Can I just end this review at that because “WOW”.

Brittainy, you never fail to amaze me and pull my emotions out of me. It says a lot because I’ve been reading NA and contemporary and romance for so long that sometimes, all these plot twists, all these characters just get lost in a blur but you, YOU managed to craft story after story about friendship and honest to goodness love.

I cannot stress how important it is for me to feel connected to the characters because I’m that kind of reader who cannot fully appreciate a book despite superb writing and editing if I cannot really connect to any of the characters in any way. I don’t need to go through what the characters go through to have that relatability factor. I just need to really understand them and be one with them and I guess that’s a gift that not all authors can possess.

The author’s writing has amazed me since the first book from her that I have read and she continues to wow me book after book. This story is fresh and pure. It’s not the love story of a hot guy and gorgeous female who fell in love at first glance then proceeded to having intense, steamy sex. This story is beyond that. It’s a story of souls finding their way to each other. It’s a story of loyalty, family and diversity. It’s about acceptance and love and acknowledging what your heart is trying to tell you.

What’s amazing is that the storyline is not at all new. I feel like the strength of this novel lies on how much depth and humanity was seen and felt from our characters. The author was able to create different personalities without going overboard. We have seen how they were at the start of the story and witnessed their growth as the story goes on. And I’m not just talking about our main characters, Graham and Lucille. I felt equally invested in our side characters and I could definitely see myself reading spin offs based on them. I mean, seriously, it has become quite a trend already and Brittainy doing it would just be fantastic given how well written and developed her characters are. 

In a short period of time, Brittainy C. Cherry and her stories really grew on me. And you know what, Maktub.

Stars - 5


Review Headings -  Blurb

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

 

 

The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry

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“The world keeps spinning because your heartbeats exist”

*Better late than never review*

This book is one big story comprised of little moments sewn together. Brittainy Cherry is fast becoming one of my favorite authors given that this is only my second read from her.The Silent Waters.jpg

When you read a story and it touches your soul, you WILL know.

This is one of those stories wherein I have absolutely no clue as to how things will play out. I fell in love with Maggie and Brooks as kids and even more as they grew. I admire how Cherry’s plots are unlike any other, how she digs in deeper and really finds that connection to her readers.

She creates characters which are not perfect. She creates characters you can relate to, characters who are flawed that you will sometimes find bits and pieces of yourself in them. 

She reinvents flaws and make them strengths and to date, I have to say that creating characters who seem real to me will always be one of her greatest strength as an author.

It also seems like friendship and family are dominant themes in her stories. This one in particular spans years and it started during our main characters’ childhood to being young adults to adulthood. I love how the story evolved, how the characters grew and I felt myself growing with them. I can’t say a lot about the story without giving much away. What’s important for you to know is that this is superbly written, thoughtfully structured with the minor characters providing great support to the main characters. How all the characters grew and matured with time is just exceptional. Each one affects the other and the main strength of this story is in the depth of our characters. 

Books like this is one of the reasons I read – to feel, to think and to learn to appreciate even the tiniest moments. 

4.5 STARS!

Stars - 5


Review Headings -  Blurb

Moments.

Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday’s hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow’s promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.

Of moments.

 

Scandal in Seattle by Nicole Williams

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“Revenge was an odd thing it could motivate a person like nothing else. It was my opinion that people who lacked motivation in life had a deficit of revenge. That wasn’t my problem, though. When it came to revenge, I had an abundant surplus.”SCANDAL IN SEATTLE.jpg

These books are painstakingly short and I just want more!!! 

Our Eve is back and on a roll! Things get a bit complicated when she lands a new target – Henry, a Ten and also her former lover, also that one guy who changed everything for her. Her new errand now involves getting revenge and things become complex when business and personal life clash.

Henry’s busy schedule gave way for Ally (formerly Sienna, originally named Eve) to work on another Errand and we again see how meticulous she is, how organized she plans for her targets and how focused she can be. Again, this target is hopeless and cannot be converted into a good guy as much as we want to. Ally worked her charm, creeping her way into her new target’s life – doing just as she was asked to do by the client wife.

I find the concept, the plot, even our protagonist fascinating and interesting. What intrigues me the most at this point is Henry. He brings life to our protagonist. He is different from all the other targets in the sense that there is no dirt on him. His wife just wants to separate herself, get her money and get out of the marriage.

To be honest. I like Henry’s character and feel that there is a bigger story to his “cheating” and past relationship to Eve (Sienna or Ally). Also, I sense that Eve still harbors some deep rooted feelings that she just cannot acknowledge at this point in her life and with this kind of career.

I’m excited to see how Henry and Eve’s story pans out and what other revelations are in store for me.

So far, so good.

3.5 STARS

Stars - 4


Review Headings - Blurb

Revenge isn’t what the Eves are about. Justice is.

But when Sienna Stevens leaves Miami for her Errand in Seattle as Ally Andrews, revenge is the only thing on her mind. A woman scorned is one thing, but Ally is something else altogether. She will not rest until the man who upended her world is brought to his personal and financial knees. She won’t settle for just upending his world in return. She’s going for full-blown annihilation.

Ally’s barely in Seattle a day before complications arise. She begins making slips. She’s one error away from being pulled from the biggest Errand of her career when she comes face to face with Henry Callahan. Former lover. Current Target.

Things just went from complicated to catastrophic.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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“It is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters.”

A Court of Wings and Ruin

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*

Finishing ACOMAF gave me such an undescribable high and after reading ACOWAR…..well, I feel kind of sad writing this review.

I was late to join the Maas bandwagon and my first taste of her writing was with A Court of Thorns and Roses (which made me realize that I haven’t written a review for ACOTAR and ACOMAF yet!!). This was a year ago and I became one among the many impatiently waiting for this third book.

ACOMAF ended in a tense cliffhanger, with a promise of suspense, manipulation and a lot of high intensity. To my dismay, the first few chapters fell short for me. It was mostly Feyre’s rants and pining and I didn’t get the force and excitement I was expecting.  


PACE: The first half was slow for me. Boy, do I have a problem with the pacing. If this was the first book in a series, I would have put it down already. It was slow, sluggish and Feyre’s sole narrative can get tiring. It was narrative after narrative, only picking up when something remotely exciting happens. At Review Headings - Thoughts and Feelsabout 60 percent, I realized that the only reason I’m still sticking around is because I’m already invested in the characters from the first two books. I was hoping that the remaining 40 percent will redeem the monotony I felt in more than half of the book but I feel like I should not go through roughly 400++ pages of flatness before finally getting to a really good part.

There were parts which for me were repetitive and I feel that this could be a couple hundred pages less than its current length.


POV: This is one of those books where in I wish I was getting multiple POVs. It would have provided so much clarity, so much more information and so much more feels I was yearning for. There were scenes wherein I felt like something exciting would happen but we would never know since we can only see through Feyre. Our side characters are deep, complex and dynamic and I would have loved to see through their eyes and understand through their thoughts.

Through the whole book, I felt that much needed longing for a multiple POV the most during the battle scene. I wish I could have seen the battle from Cassian, or Azriel’s eyes. I would have also liked to get a glimpse on the minds of the other High Lords. Instead, we saw the battle unfold from a mere onlooker.


BATTLE SCENE: ACOMAF’s battle scene shouts EPIC and that set my standards pretty high. I was expecting the same intense, edge of my seat feels with ACOWAR but it didn’t come close. I feel like all these powers and strength were just left there and not utilized. Also, where were Feyre’s water wolves?


MORE QUESTIONS: This book ended with more questions than when I started. I feel like a lot of the plot twists are placed there to propel for the next books to come. Let’s start with the obvious ones:

MOR – I have such high regard for the LGBTQ community but I feel like Mor’s admission was somehow forced. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t feel believable. I felt like it was made to happen for mere representation without foundation from the first two books. 

LUCIEN – he was a presence during the first half then he ran off to play hero to locate a missing queen and ended up missing the rest of the story. Seriously, what is up with that? No one even kept tabs on him or thought to wonder how he is. One moment he’s here, the next day he’s gone resurfacing only in those last few chapters. Also, that reveal about his lineage was most likely to pave way for another book because that’s a twist that wasn’t even fully acknowledged.

NESTA/ELAIN: These two ladies have so much potential to be amazing. There’s this buildup regarding their powers which in the end were not even given much attention. I thought that their use of powers will make a sort of debut during the war but there was none of that. Elain can be cute but her character can easily be overshadowed by the other strong characters surrounding her. On the contrary, Nesta is too strong and stubborn that I wonder if she even feels at all. There are moments when I get to peek at her humanity, at her heart – but those are fleeting, minute moments and as much as I understand her backsground – this girl seriously needs to face and understand her emotions about Feyre, about Cassian, about her new life in general. 

I still have a lot on my list but writing them would be too rant-y already. 


THE GOOD: I have to say that I cannot stay away from this book mainly because of the characters. I love this crew so much and feel like they could have been made more amazing. There’s a lot of potential left for them to develop. I like how these characters were individualized but I feel like their growth was rushed and very little development happened in such few chapters left.

These characters are broken and discovering themselves everyday as they try to heal. I love how the other ships are given focus as well but like what I mentioned earlier, I wish it could have been from their POV for a more in depth understanding of their characters. Cassian and Azriel will always be favorites of mine. Despite the mating, I really get excited everytime Azriel will have an interaction with Elain. Also, was it just me or did you get a vibe that Nesta could be Cassian’s mate? 

Another plus point for me would be the meeting wherein I was able to get a glimpse of all the other courts and the personalities behind them. Also, I didn’t expect that I would have this kind of attachment and longing for the Bone Carver, the Weaver and the Suriel. It’s amazing how all these characters came together and banded for one common goal to fight in this very GOT-like battle.  

There were also strong messages being delivered like forgiveness, hope, survival, family, redemption and unity. It’s a strong book actually but I felt all these immensely ONLY in the latter third part of the story. There were other scenes and references I really liked such as the library and the reason why it was built, seeing Cassian in his element, Amren and Varian, Tamlin and Jurian, Miryam and Drakon, the other High Lords, the three ships, Vassa and my favorite, Rhysand’s speech.  


LASTLY, WHAT’S WITH ALL THE PURRING??? Jurian purred. Ianthe purred. Feyre purred. Rhys purred. Cassian purred. The Carver purred. Helion purred. And dear God, even the Cauldron purred. I can’t even describe how unsettling that can be.

WILL I CONTINUE WITH THE SERIES? Yes, if only to get the answers to the questions left. It was a good ending, not so epic but still enjoyable. I’m still deciding if it was me, the book or the extremely high expectations I set after ACOMAF. 

3 STARS TO RATTLE.

Stars - 3


A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES IN A GLANCE

A Court of Thorns and Roses – 4 STARS

A Court of Mist and Fury – 5 STARS

A Court of Wings and Ruin – 3 STARS

OVERALL: 4 STARS

4 star rating


 

Review Headings - Blurb

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

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I’ve read Maas’ ACOTAR and ACOMAF and loved both immensely. I am among the legion impatiently waiting for ACOWAR that is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that I would start this series too.

The thing is, I’m late to this series and if I will commit, this will be quite a lengthy read. However, my husband included some of the books in the series as part of his surprise wedding gift so I really have to read it to not let the gift go to waste.

Initially, I tried not to set high expectations for this book. The premise is not so new, a female assassin with something to prove and evil to prevent.

But what I did not expect was for me to enjoy the book as much as I did. I can’t believe I waited this long to start this series!!!!

Celaena Sardothien – the name alone receives my seal of approval. She is feisty, vain, a girl yet a hardcore warrior. She is witty and sarcastic and takes crap from no one. She is broken and damaged and having survived everything she’s been through, she can oftentimes be aloof and arrogant.

There are two prominent males in this story, Dorian and Chaol. I do not care what ship you’re rooting for but all I know is that I adore Chaol’s character more. He is quiet, brooding, a bit of a mystery yet protective towards Celaena. And although I am Team Chaol (for now), Dorian is also a character to love. He is sweet, a bookworm and we can see his more mature side slowly emerging as the story progress.

Aside from the main characters, Maas was able to bring to life these secondary characters who are as developed as her main ones. For starters, I love Nehemia and cannot wait to know more of her story. There’s also the dead queen and the King of Adarlan, characters who do not have a lot of exposure but are still impacting and relevant to the story. I also feel that this side of Celaena is just the first layer and I cannot wait to get to know her more.  

I love the plot and the world building. I am astonished at the intensity of the deaths and the feeling of being transported to another world. However, I felt that certain parts of the story were a bit predictable and it was just matter of how Maas will let the story unfold. With that said, I am just in awe of how Maas shaped this world, how she let the plot flow and how she made a mark and let this story of hers shine. 

For all of you wanting an action packed fantasy, this one’s for you. Just don’t expect much on the romance side because you won’t get much in that premise. Though Celaena, Dorian and Chaol are both well developed characters, I am glad that they were able to stand on their own without relying too much on a love triangle or romance aspect.

SJM is now one of my favorites and I will definitely finish this series.    

Stars - 4


Review Headings - Blurb

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

“Sometimes distance was easier than acting, or explaining.”

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I didn’t realize that I was reading a novella until I was done with it. Initially, I was having mixed emotions since I am not a huge fan of instalove. But for a quick read, it was …… okay.

This is a charming short story about Makenna and Caden and one fateful day trapped in the elevator. With only each other and the darkness keeping them company, they started opening up to each other, breaking down barriers bit by bit. This is a very fast, and I emphasize on FAST, strangers to lovers type of story.

Commercial: Am I the only one who thought of The Voice while reading this?

To those of you unfamiliar with The Voice, it is an international reality television singing competition   wherein the blind auditions have the judges/coaches facing away from the artists. With this, they will only be judging them based on their voices alone.

The HID plot is a lot like that. Trapped in a pitch black elevator, without any idea when they will be let out, Makenna and Caden had to lean onto each other for support. It was a sweet survival mode as they traded stories, backgrounds and even food and water. They found companionship and attraction in a very unlikely situation.

Personally, I found the story to be cute and fun but truly unrealistic. I was detached from the main characters from start to finish. I mean, I could understand some of the things that happened in the elevator but the rest that followed felt a bit too much. It’s entertaining at best but the insta-lust meter is just blaring. I felt like majority of the story was more on sexual and less on plot and emotions.

The writing is okay though I was a bit distracted with the sudden shifts in POV. I would suddenly get lost as to whose voice I was already reading but I quickly recovered. If you’re looking to pass time, a bit bored maybe or if you’re looking for a quick steamy fix – then this one might do.

Heads up: I am still curious as to what happens to them and their relationship (seeing as they professed love right away. Um okay.) as they discover more about each other, see each other in the light of day and tackle more day to day dilemmas without the bubble of an elevator. With that said, I am definitely not closing my doors on the next book.

2.5 STARS

Stars - 3

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Sugar Free by Sawyer Bennett

“What you and I have, Sela…no one will ever comprehend it. No one will ever come in between it. But it’s real and it’s ours and I’m never letting it go.”

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I had so much hope and anticipation for this third and final book in the Super Bowl series and I am extremely pleased to say that it exceeded my expectations and I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until that very last page. Damn that ending girllllllllllllllllll.

This series went from a steamy romance with a touch of darkness to a highly suspenseful read. I was amazed that a lot of different elements came into play in this third book, making me fully realize the talent that Sawyer Bennet has.

As always, Beck is just amazing. There’s no other word for him except that. Hell, I could look up all the synonyms in the thesaurus for “amazing” and it would boil down to him being exceptional.  He is anything and everything and I would keep him if I could. I’m also thrilled that this third book showcased Beck in different sides and emotions- we got to taste a more intimate (personal, not sexual as we had loads and loads of that already. LOL) and deeper Beck, and see him for his heart and soul. Every time a layer of a certain character is peeled off, I can’t help but cheer the author on because I know that great effort was exerted in crafting a well-developed lead. Well done SB, I wanna hug you so tight just for Beck alone.  

I wish I could say the same for Sela though. If you have been following my reviews, you know that I had mixed feelings for her in the first book, which was changed in the second book and now in this third book, I could just gouge her eyeballs out. Okay, not all the time. But there were moments when this girl can seriously be annoying and if I could silence some of her book parts out, I totally would.

Not all characters can be awesome to a T but even if I couldn’t care less for Sela, it’s the other way around for the secondary characters. I love and adore how the secondary characters built our main characters up. They were not just random voices in the background. They play pivotal roles to the story too. William (and Maria), Caroline and Ally as well as Dennis are beautifully individualized and showed big personalities throughout the story and even my irritation with Sela could not dampen my love for them. I found that scenes with them are some of my favorite.

This story is best read when your mind is blank and away from interruption because it is highly addicting and truth be told, you just won’t be able to put it down. Every chapter break was just another big tease and the suspense and intense buildup right off the bat was heavy. I can tell exactly which parts prompted me to put the book down for a few minutes because it was already tension filled. Granted, we already know the culprits, we know what happened but what we do not know is how all these things will play out. And in the grand scheme of things, despite Sela being Sela, I really wanted our main characters to be happy and to redeem themselves. I wanted Sela to just go find her closure and peace of mind. I wanted Beck to have the family life that he missed out on. 

I felt a lot in this book. I felt them through our characters and I really applaud Bennett for not leaving any loose ends, for having all questions answered and basically for making me an exceptionally pleased reader right at this moment, despite the stress I endured while reading, because really, trying to wrap my head around what was happening was nerve-wracking but in a delicious way only us readers could understand.  

Plus, that little cameo of the Filipino judge made me do a little happy dance. It is oh so very rare when Filipinos are given much importance in a character assignment. Usually, the Pinoy/Pinay is a maid, an illegal or a social outcast. To have a Pinoy given a character of social importance made me cheering all the more.  

There was a point when I kind of hated Bennett for all the cliffhangers because that is just plain torture. In a reader’s active imagination, so many things can happen and so many theories can build up just as soon as the book ends. Imagine my frustration at the cliffy that is Sugar Rush. However, I have to say that with the Epilogue and how the story ended (I have to admit I was freaking out at 91% because only a few pages were left and I still had like a bucket of questions left unanswered), Sawyer Bennett, you are more than forgiven.

4.75 SUGAR STARS.

(I just have to take .25 off for the number of times Sela drove me nuts)

Stars - 5

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Check my review for SUGAR DADDY

Check my review for SUGAR RUSH

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Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett

“He was a new life.
A fresh start.
A possibility I thought I’d never have.
But right now, he’s the man who just broke me.”

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WOW this is just… WOW!!! I have no words because I am drafting this review merely 5 minutes after I finished the book (October 8, 2:26 AM MNL time) and my emotions are still all over the place.

Everything I felt missing on the first book, everything I felt was overly done were all balanced out in this second book. Looking back, perhaps the first book was plotted that way to prepare for this second one. I don’t know, I’m just assuming but it feels like Sugar Daddy was an appetizer to an even bigger and better meal AKA Sugar Rush.

The book picked up where Sugar Daddy left off and given the painful ending of Sugar Daddy, us readers could only hope for a more positive start to Sugar Rush. And we got that. I, for one, felt particularly satisfied by how this second book started.

Sela and Beck are more dynamic than ever. Relationship wise, they are now focused on being entirely honest with each other – no secrets to keep, no holds barred. I love the noticeable growth in their relationship from just being physically attuned to each other to being emotionally attached as well. I loved and enjoyed Sela more in this second book. I felt like she was really becoming better and without the burden of keeping anything from Beck, she became more focused and consistent.

Beck, on the other hand, is amazing as usual. His loyalty and devotion to Sela is just swoon worthy. This time, with everything laid on the table, we’ve seen just how much he appreciated Sela and not just in the bed but as a person, a friend, a partner. Danggg lucky woman!!

The plot became tricky when family ties, friendships and pasts best forgotten played roles in the turn of events. I love how this book, though still contains sex scenes that are beyond steamy, focused more on the plot and big reveals. This has revelations upon revelations and it’s just so addicting to read.

My heart rate started speeding up at roughly 78% and it was intensity filled from there. I was literally holding my breath and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

I mentioned that I liked Sela better in this book than the first right?? At about 88%, I was willing to take everything back. I wanted to just pull her hair, keep her from doing what I feel was an idiotic move and just lock her up in their room. Seriously, why do main characters tend to do something stupid all the time?

However, this “stupid move” of Sela’s is what brought everything out in the open. It was twisted and shocking and I freaking loved every minute of it!! I was at the height of my emotions when the second book ended at a cliff hanger. Bummer? I know. I felt so cheated. I wanted more!! I feel like I was just getting to the yummiest part of a burger when it was suddenly snatched from me. Yes, the author warned that there will be a cliffhanger but I JUST WASN’T PREPARED FOR THAT.

DAMN, I NEEDED THE THIRD BOOK YESTERDAY.

5 SUGAR STARS!

Stars - 5

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Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett

“Innocent and fresh. Two words that should never be used to describe the dark and damaged woman I’ve become.”

sugar-daddy

Yet again, I am impressed by another new to me author. I would like to thank Pearl of PAGES OF PEARL for giving this book a chance and from her Goodreads status updates, I got intrigued and curiosity got the better of me.

This is the story of Sela who was brutally drugged and gang raped when she was younger by the now rich and famous Jonathon Townsend or JT. Sela closed off over the years after her rape and was determined that the only thing that can give her back her peace of mind is by getting revenge. On her way to the path of retribution, she came across, Beck, JT’s business partner and childhood friend. From there, Sela began an unexpected ride of steam, lies, and attraction.

I found this story very entertaining and such an easy read. For starters, I like the idea of the Sugar Bowl, a dating site used to match men and women. It kind of feels like the Super Bowl. While the Super Bowl is the gathering of football greatness, Sugar Bowl, on the other hand is the gathering of the richest and most prominent men and the most delectable females.

I was initially intrigued because of the revenge premise since Sela wanted to find her abusers and have her vengeance. She was repeating her mantra, over and over and over.

Infiltrate. Murder. Repeat, she said.

Focus on JT, she said.

Find her other rapists, she said.

What she has accomplished so far? None. Except getting a super hot boyfriend/live in partner/Sugar Daddy who is super sweet and gives her all the O’s she has missed out on. 

I feel like the goal of revenge has been an initial priority which has been placed in the back burner. She has been damaged over the years because of what was done to her and then she meets one hot, swoon worthy Beck and she got easily sidetracked. I mean, I can’t blame her but she was so motivated during the start like her sanity was depending on it. Then one guy, one guy came along and her determination wavered. There was actually a point where she was thinking of giving up her chance to avenge herself in favor of having a real and more honest relationship with Beck. Until things happened which pushed her to do something that would really tear her and Beck apart.  

Sela, although a bit lacking in character development is still a likable character. She is strong and honest (except with Beck), true to herself and a real survivor. Beck on the other hand is perfection delivered to us hot off the oven. Need I say more?

This book is fun to read, engaging at best and heartfelt for most. It has a lot of potential, a lot of other points to explore like more on JT’s backstory (Why is he such a crude maniac in the first place?), Beck’s background and his big issue with lying (Is there a story behind that or just basic human nature to despise lies?), Sela and her drive to get revenge. With all these, I was just a teeny, tiny bit perplexed that most scenes ended up in the bedroom. I need more of the story and a little less sex.  

I found this author’s writing to be clean and direct. Overall, I truly enjoyed reading this and could not believe that heck of a cliffhanger. The most powerful part in my opinion is that last 10% which was spectacularly done. I am definitely getting the second book.

3.5 STARS!

Stars - 4

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